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UN Sustainable Development Goal #7: Affordable and Clean Energy

Jess García

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Energy is the power that allows us to hustle. We need it for everything. Plants rely on the sun to nourish the earth’s species, our bodies depend on energy derived from the food we eat, and overall, it’s crucial to this technological age for survival. Sustainable Development Goal 7 is to ensure affordable and clean energy. As the UN states, “A well-established energy system supports all sectors: from business, medicine and education to agriculture, infrastructure, communications and high-technology.” Energy enriches our lives but can equally be negative as seen with climate change.

Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

“To ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.”

Photo by  Nichole Sobecki  for  National Geographic  greenhouse in Oserian, Kenya

Photo by Nichole Sobecki for National Geographic greenhouse in Oserian, Kenya


  • 1 in 7 people live without electricity

  • 3 billion people rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating

  • Energy is the dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions

Photo by  UNPD  | Massantola, Mali installation of a clean pump system that uses solar energy for gardening

Photo by UNPD | Massantola, Mali installation of a clean pump system that uses solar energy for gardening

Green Alternatives

In Kenya, geothermal energy is being used to provide power. What’s attractive about this is that it’s fairly clean, inexpensive and available 24/7. The first image demonstrates how roses at a greenhouse located in Kenya are able to flourish. Thanks to the geothermal field in Olkaria, this is able to happen. Acres and acres of greenhouses like this one are able to thrive because the heat, electricity, and steam allow fertilization to occur. Hence the blossoming of these beautiful flowers. Also, carbon emissions are low. Another example of clean energy are solar pumps. The water pumping system, like the one pictured in Mali, cultivates healthy vegetables for a number of people. It’s one of the most abundant and natural ways of creating food. Women no longer have to do back breaking work under the sun as this source of technology is a safe and sustainable alternative. And the best part? Quality of life is drastically improved because of it, and there’s absolutely no harm to the planet. When it comes to fashion however, it’s quite the opposite…

Energy in Fashion

Visual by ethical fashion brand  Mate The Label

Visual by ethical fashion brand Mate The Label

We’re in need of a more responsible industry that is clean. Clothes are essentially our second skin, and it’s important that the entire process, starting from conception of the design to delivery of shipment to the consumer, is a healthy one. Did you know that fashion production, “consumes more energy than the aviation and shipping industry combined,”? (UNFCCC) Knowing this fact, each step of energy that is used must be reexamined for a more sustainable world, and the culture of consumerism has to change. The cool thing is that our generation is becoming more conscious with its spending habits. “According to a Nielsen study, 73% of millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable brands,” (Forbes). An uplifting statistic that brings a positive attitude, and a message with good energy. Of course, there’s a lot more to say about this topic regarding the good, the bad and the ugly, but we’ll save all of that for the next post!

Read more about SDG 7 here!

Facts provided by the UN